Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Farm 2 Fork Festival

Eating locally and bringing attention to regional farmers is a passion of Gail Brill. As the Adirondack Green Circle Founding Director, Brill saw a disconnect between the produce farmers were bringing to local farmers’ markets and the consumer buying it. The idea for a festival to celebrate the local harvest came four years ago when Brill overhead someone ask how to use Celeriac, a celery-type root vegetable.

“The Adirondack Green Circle does a lot of bridging between the farmers and consumers,” says Brill. “We want to celebrate what the farmers are bringing to the table and educate the consumer on how to cook with it.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Homesteading Fair in Lowville, September 8-9

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Lewis County in conjunction with Mother Earth News is responding to the increasing numbers of people inquiring about raising backyard poultry, beef, and other livestock, food preservation, energy alternatives for homes and farms, and back-to-the-land management skills with a new educational event. A Homesteading Fair will be presented at the Maple Ridge Center in Lowville, NY, September 8 and 9, 2012.

The two-day event will offer more than 90 educational workshops, held rain or shine, under large tents, in a large, approved, kitchen and former barns, and on the expansive lawn at the Maple Ridge Center. Livestock shearing and wool spinning are among the many planned demonstrations. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Liquids and Solids, Lake Placid

What was beginning to feel like a wasted (no pun intended) trip to Lake Placid finally began to take a turn for the better. Originally arriving too early, we returned to Liquids and Solids at the Handlebar on a recommendation. We had considered skipping it after two of the three previous bars proved to be disappointing, but we weren’t sorry we backpedaled to give Liquids and Solids a proper review.

The long bar stretched out a hand in greeting, which we accepted. Lights with bare bulbs, painted dark, hung over the bar, adding a mysterious light for early afternoon. Eggplant colored walls breathed calm as they showcased their quirky and intriguing artwork. Random details added a tasteful touch of whimsy to the simple shapes and spare ornamentation in the dining area. Fresh flowers popped their lively heads from artfully labeled beer bottles, a theme we were later to discover was carried into the ladies’ room. Beer and wine menus, handwritten in wide black marker on large paper grocery bags, hung from clipboards behind the bar. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: The Thirsty Moose, Childwold

Where have all the young people gone? Having spent 19 months reviewing bars, taverns and dives in the Adirondacks, the thought had crossed our minds, but we never vocalized it. We just assumed they came out later. Like vampires. Not during the afternoon and evening. Not during Happy Hour. Or maybe they just restricted themselves to larger venues like Lake Placid and Lake George.

We found them one Wednesday afternoon in July, at the Thirsty Moose Pub & Grub in Childwold, somewhere between Cranberry Lake and Tupper Lake. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Trail’s End, Tupper Lake

Trail’s End is a classic roadhouse bar located just outside Tupper Lake on Route 30. Step out the front door and look around. Surrounded by mountains, water, and trees, a few barely discernable dwellings dot the landscape. Located at the convergence of Tupper Lake, Simon Pond, Raquette Pond, and the Raquette River, Trails End earns the distinction of being the bar with the best view in Tupper Lake, with some of the nicest people.

As we stepped from our V-6 (not our V-twin), we received a friendly greeting from the pair of musicians seated with their guitars on a long bench on the porch. Thursday is open mic night at Trails End and some like to get there early to warm up, be it musically or otherwise. Trails End is a self-proclaimed biker bar, but don’t think non-bikers are not welcome. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sorbet: A Summertime Blueberry Treat

For the past few weeks I just simply have not been in the mood for cooking. It has been hot and sunny, and sitting in the kitchen and standing over a stove – much less turning on the oven –  holds about zero appeal. A lot of salads have been hitting the table, as we’ve had a bumper crop of lettuce this year. Herbs have also been plentiful, which makes for fun experimentation with different types of dressings.

Mostly I have been spending a lot of time outdoors with friends and family, bringing along a variety of Oscar’s ready-made salads, smoked meats and cheeses for picnicking. Ready-made has held a lot more appeal than actually whipping up my own potato salad or  barbeque after a long hard day of relaxing. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour:
Windfall Bar and Grill, Cranberry Lake

Eighty miles to Tupper Lake. Another twenty-six to Cranberry Lake. The two-and-a-half-mile stretch on Tooley Pond Road, winding between Cranberry Lake and Silver Lake to the Windfall Bar and Grill, was the shortest leg of our travels. It’s all about perspective in the Adirondacks.

Rounding a curve just when we’d decided there was no sign of human interference other than the road and a small cemetery, we were somewhat surprised to find the Windfall Bar and Grill occupying a yellow ranch house. Nothing garish or pretentious about its curb appeal,  just a simple looking country tavern and restaurant, well maintained and hospitable. The same was found within. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
BBQ, Bluegrass at DaCy Meadow Farm

DaCy Meadow Farm in Westport is once again bringing a summer of localvore living to the Adirondacks.  According to owner David Johnston the annual Blues and Burgers has been reinvented as a Barbeque and Bluegrass Pickin’ Party for July 21 and September 1 from 6 pm – 10 pm.  The two events are just a sampling of the “Farm to Table” opportunities.

“We have different events all the time with the focus always being a unique food experience,” says Johnston.  “In addition to our Sunday Brunch we have Chef Kevin McCarthy come and provide a gourmet slow food experience. The family-style meal emphasizes on the preparation of local foods. He comes out after each course and answers questions.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Johnny’s Sports Bar, Willsboro

Just when we thought we had seen the best the Adirondacks has to offer, heeeere’s Johnny’s! If it were as simple as walking in with a ten-item checklist, Johnny’s Smokehouse and Sports Bar in Willsboro would be an easy ten. It isn’t, but they do have it all, inside and out.

In its infancy, Johnny’s was established by Trisha Sheehan in July, 2011 and seems well on its way to maturity. The combination of exciting and creative menu options, a wide selection of beverages, and an appealing atmosphere contribute to an overall enjoyable experience. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cabin Life: The Best Meal Ever, And The Worst

A cast-iron pan, a quart pot and a tea kettle.  It’s hard to believe that I spent six months pretty much just using those three utensils to make all of my meals.  And it’s not that I had been eating out a lot or eating unhealthy meals, but with only a little propane stove to cook on, I got by with the bare minimum of dishes.  Plus it was really hard to wash dishes with no running water.

Another writer told me to use spray bottles to do the dishes.  Put warm, soapy water in one and clean in the other to save on water, since I was filling a five-gallon jug every couple of days and hauling it to the cabin.  It was a great idea and definitely saved on water, but I found that using the spray bottle to rinse was just not effective.  The wash bottle was great, but I still just ran the spigot on the jug to rinse. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: The Back Country Pantry

I hope you got the idea from the Dispatch two weeks ago that I put a premium on cooking real food over saving weight when I’m in the wilderness.

It’s no contest; I love to eat well when I camp, no matter the circumstances.

Admittedly Lost Brook Tract affords me a real advantage because we have a lean-to and a fire ring with which to maintain a permanent base camp.  In fact during our first summer trip there, in addition to lots of tools, supplies and the makings for Shay’s Privy, we hauled in a primo cooking setup.  It consisted of a large, heavy-duty two-burner stove, tubing, a propane gas distribution pipe and a screw-on lantern at the top.

Some hiker noticed my load at the trail head when I hauled in the propane tank, one of those deals you usually see mounted on the front of an RV.  Their look of scorn and derision was forgotten as soon as I fired this deal up for the first time. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Old Dock House, Essex

Inspiration for this review called for Jimmy Buffett and a bold Hawaiian shirt. Unseasonably hot pre-summer 90-degree temperatures set the tone for the outdoor bar at the Old Dock House Restaurant and Marina, lakeside in Essex. As we picked our way along the walkway from the parking lot, the sight of a small boat, built into the structure, had us humming the theme from Gilligan’s Island as we approached the cheerful barn red building. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Homage to a Legendary Black Bear

Our participants, before Tractor, from a trip collage. Part of a "Death Card" is visible in the collage.

Currently I am in the midst of writing about food.  This week’s column was to be about a back country pantry for a longer trip, but thanks to Dan Crane’s recent column on bear attacks and the plethora of comments it generated I decided to switch the order up a little.  Today’s topic will still be food in the back country, but combined with another subject, a subject to whom I have long owed a written account.  This subject is a big one… well, was a big one…

Eleven years ago in the summer of 2001 Amy, my three sons and I planned our most ambitious family backpacking trip ever, eleven days in the back country.  The route was to take us all over the High Peaks, some of it on the trail and some of it bushwhacking. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: Blue Water Manor, Bolton

If it weren’t actually life-sized, you would think you were approaching one of Charlie Wood’s fairytale buildings at Storytown. The Stone Manor Restaurant at the Blue Water Manor on Lakeshore Drive in Bolton is one of those “must see” taverns in the Adirondacks. Like a fairytale castle of Arthurian legend, the stone structure appears much older than it really is. As you make your way to the tavern and restaurant on Lake George, you’ll find yourself surrounded by cabins for rent and a variety of low-hanging trees that obscure and enhance the view of the building. The slate roof is visible here and there among the trees, but you can’t miss the medieval, arched doorway that lies at the end of the tree-strewn path.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shannon Houlihan: Everyone Loves Rhubarb?

Ever notice that during the period of May through mid-June there is a blitz of food articles, expounding upon the wonders the rhubarb? These stories make plentiful use of words like “abundant” “grandmother” “delightful” and “cherry red”. Words like this about a food make me feel pretty excited. Particularly when the food in question practically grows wild all around me. So I was pretty excited to really dive right into some rhubarby adventures this year. » Continue Reading.


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